Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Prospective PhD candidates
If you are interested in pursuing a PhD at Leiden University this website wants to inform and help you through the application procedure.
About the degree
The highest degree awarded in the Netherlands is the doctorate (PhD degree). A full-time PhD programme takes 4 years; a part-time programme (4 days a week) takes 5 years. PhD candidates in the Netherlands are usually not considered to be students who study within a framework of a well defined and structured PhD programme. Instead, their programme is tailor made.
Earning a PhD at Leiden can be done through either an academic treatise on a certain subject in book form or a collection of different academic treatises that have already been made public, or a combination of the 2 if there is enough of a connection regarding the content. The doctoral dissertation may be written in Dutch or English, or, subject to approval, in another language. It is also possible for 2 or 3 PhD candidates to do research together under certain conditions. A joint degree is, however, not possible.
4 types of PhD candidates
- PhD candidates with employee status are appointed at the FSW specifically to do PhD research. They are supervised by a member of the staff, with an obligation towards the FSW to graduate.
- Members of staff working on a PhD have a paid position at the FSW. They are not appointed to do PhD research, but work on a PhD thesis without an obligation to graduate. They are supervised by a member of the staff.
- Contract PhD candidates do not have an employment contract with Leiden University, but are funded by a scholarship or are granted salary and/or time by their external employer. Contract PhD candidates are supervised by a member of the staff, with an obligation towards the grant supplier to graduate. The PhD graduation is planned at the FSW.
- External PhD candidates are not appointed at the Faculty but work on a PhD thesis with own funding. They are supervised by a member of the staff, but have no obligation to graduate. The PhD graduation is planned at the FSW.
Obtaining a PhD degree
The University has PhD regulations. It is important to be aware of the contents of these regulations from the outset of the PhD programme. Apart from the PhD regulations, Leiden University also employs a set of guidelines.
Also, all PhD candidates must be registered with the Graduate School.
The steps in the formal procedure leading to the public defence of the dissertation written under the supervision of a supervisor of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences are accompanied by the following documents: